Our Wii insists that we’re overweight and chastises us for eating too much. I’m not sure what to do about it. My 8-year-old son is developing a body image complex.
We got this Wii last week. We’re not typically into the whole video game thing. But this is actually a fun way for the family to spend time together. We do yoga, golf, play tennis. We even try our hands at various (mostly impossible) balancing games. But here’s the problem: At the beginning of each session the Wii asks you to take a “body test.” It weighs you and measures your ability to stay centered and calculates your “Wii age.” The first time I did it I was like 54 (which depressed the hell out of me since I’m more than a decade younger). I was only buoyed by the fact that my 42-year-old husband first ended up with a reading of 62. Ha!
Anyway, once you work out every day and get the hang of it, your age goes down rather dramatically and you feel a whole lot less defeated by the damn thing. It also weighs you and if you haven’t lost any weight since your last session, it asks you all kinds of annoying questions like, “Why do you think you’ve gained weight? Are you eating at night?” It’s irritating to say the least. But I can handle the vexing probes. It’s my 8-year-old son who is developing a body image complex.
“Mom, I haven’t lost a single pound,” he laments. “What am I going to do?”
“Levi,” I answer, trying not to sound alarmed by his anorexic demeanor. “You are 8-years-old and as skinny as a rail. You are not supposed to lose weight. In fact, your job is to eat healthy and actually gain weight as you grow.”
“But the Wii says I should watch my calories and make sure to avoid rich desserts. Mom, I am soooooo fat!”
OK, now I’m officially panicked. Visions of 8-year-old bulimia dance in my head. “Don’t act distraught,” I tell myself. Maybe he’s just trying to get attention. As a previous anorexic myself, I shudder at the thought that somehow I’ve genetically passed my fat phobia on to my son. I make a note to call the “talking doctor” and set up an appointment ASAP.
But then it hits me – like a gift from the heavens. I’ll admit it’s devious, maybe even conniving. But desperate times call for desperate measures.
“Well, then I guess you wont be wanting any of these,” I announce matter-of-factly, as I dangle a bag of triple chocolate Tammy Co cupcakes under his nose.
Suddenly he is my son again. The lure of decadence has freed him from his dieting frenzy. He grabs the bag and dives into the cupcakes unabashedly. Soon he is blissfully covered in velvety chocolate swirls.
“Mom,” he looks up at me with wide-eyed elation, “These are amaaaaazing!”
I smile. “So are you, my sweet. So are you.”